Commission formed to study 'Cortaca;' president again condemns students

By Dave Greber

November 21, 2013 Updated Nov 21, 2013 at 1:10 AM EDT

Cortland, NY (WBNG Binghamton) In the wake of last weekend's unrest at the hands of thousands who descended on the campus of SUNY Cortland, leaders announced the group that will study the future of the annual Cortaca weekend.

SUNY Cortland President Erik Bitterbaum said Wednesday a committee will study the annual meeting for the Cortaca Jug.

After Saturday's game, students, some from outside Cortland, took to the streets.

The crowd damaged homes and vehicles and littered the streets. Cortland police and other law enforcement agencies arrested nearly 80 people, many of whom were not students.

The 19-person commission is comprised of members of city government, the college, the community and the student body.

Bitterbaum condemned the students' behavior in an email this week.

"The disrespect for the local community shown on Saturday was unacceptable," Bittermaum wrote to students. "The destruction caused by some students and their guests was simply deplorable. And the potentially dangerous situations created for yourselves and for others defies understanding.

"This type of blatant disregard for the welfare of others cannot, and will not, be tolerated," he added. "Every possible step will be taken to fully prosecute those who have breached the law, through both the city court system and the campus student conduct system."

The task force hopes to begin its work next week, and eventually recommend a long-term approach to preventing what Bitterbaum described as "problem behavior" in the community.